Updated: Nov 17, 2019
The next morning, when Tetsu woke up, he had very vague memories of the events happened after everyone started singing. Tetsu’s head was splitting from hangover, and something heavy was pressing against his cheek. Moaning, Tetsu opened his eyes and pushed the heavy object aside. The object turned out to be Leon’s foot, with its owner snoring under the table, lying perpendicular to Tetsu’s body. Tetsu himself was near the table, serving as some kind of sofa for Aki. Aki seemed to feel no discomfort at all: curled in the pose of a kitten, he was sleeping the sleep of the just, smacking his lips and hugging Tetsu’s chest like a pillow. Tetsu cast his gaze down and saw, to his horror, that his shirt was unbuttoned and his whole upper body was covered in hickeys and bites. A sudden foreboding chilled Tetsu like a bucket of ice water; he twitched and seized his thighs – phew… the pants were… where they should be. Tetsu examined a bit higher and froze: his belt was unbuckled.
“I… I didn't do anything stupid, did I?” Tetsu desperately tried to remember what happened last night. “Jeez… If I did… NO, NO! I couldn’t! Aki’d have killed me on the spot!”
The pub servants started to clean up; chattering merrily, they were running between tables and students, who were slowly waking up from the slumber, yawing and smiling awkwardly at each other.
“Youstupidumbass”, murmured Aki and rubbed his cheek against Tetsu’s chest. “Mmmmh”, he shook his head, sat and reached to his pocket for the glasses. He put them on, slowly lifted his head and, frowning, stared at Tetsu with the look of a public prosecutor. Tetsu made a nervous laugh and attempted to buckle up his belt, which proved to be “mission impossible”. After failing miserably three or four times and reaching a new depth of crimson with each failure, he started to hectically button up his shirt.
“What the fuck are you doing, PERVERT?” questioned Aki coldly.
“No…ing! I am doing nothing!” squeaked Tetsu, whose throat suddenly went completely dry. “I s-s-swear I h…n’t done anything!” Tetsu gulped and shook his head. “I haven’t… have I?”
“Trust me,” said Aki in a solemn voice of a judge passing a death sentence, “If you did, you’d have known. And wouldn’t ask stupid questions.”
“S-sou desu ne”, mumbled Tetsu, breathing a sigh of relief – although he had no clue what that menacing phrase, “you’d have known”, meant.
One after another, the students were leaving the pub, and Tetsu, too, hurried home, hoping he’d be there before his master wakes up. It was a weekend, so Tetsu had no lectures – but he still had to do his chores. Luckily, there wasn’t much to do: just to tidy up Doctor’s study and to sort his correspondence. When Tetsu and Bangloss were travelling, Tetsu used to attend to most of his master’s needs, but after they had settled in Ishgard, Bangloss hired some servants. Naturally, the household of such a respectable lalafell as Doctor Bangloss should be up to certain standards! The idea of a country bumpkin like Tetsu serving Doctor’s guests – no, no, that would be a scandal.
Tetsu cautiously opened the house door, and listened to the noises coming from the kitchen. Apparently, Doctor had already woken up and was having his breakfast. Trying not to make any noise, Tetsu tiptoed into Doctor’s study and quickly did what he was supposed to do. When he was finishing with the correspondence, the door to the study opened, and Bangloss strode to his desk, snorting angrily. The venerable Doctor was in a bad temper.
“Oh-h-hayo, Master”, Tetsu forced a smile. “H-have you had a good sleep?”
“I haven’t!” snapped Bangloss. “And where did you sleep, eh? Where have you loafed around all night? Aaaaa! I know! You were in that pub again!”
“Aaa-aa-ah… s-sono… I… to leave… but… it… too late…” Tetsu’s voice faded, and he shrank into a shivering ball. “P-please, Master, forgive me!”
“Forgive me, forgive me – that’s all you can do: grovel and beg for forgiveness! Tell me, how many times do I have to forgive you? You take advantage of my kind heart – and what do you do after that? Always slacking – and now, when you are attending these blasted courses, I even have to shift most of your copying work onto paid scribes! I have no gains from you, only expen—” In the fit of righteous indignation, Doctor chocked and, coughing, shook his fist. “No, I am spoiling you too much. This time you’ll get what you deserve. Bring me the strap.”
“NO, MASTER, PLEA-A-A-A-ASE! I… I promise…” cried Tetsu.
“You promise? You promise what? I am fed up with your empty promises!”
“I promise… I’ll be more diligent…”
“Don’t shed floods of fake tears!” Doctor turned away from Tetsu and cursed through clenched teeth. “Damn this good-for-nothing apprentice and his blasted puppy eyes!” he cast an angry glance at the weeping catboy and grumbled, “Fine, I forgive you. This is the last time, you hear me? The last time! You dare, Tetsu! You dare to shirk off your duties again, and I’ll show you no mercy! Now go and prepare everything for the meeting we have tonight.”